November 01, 2018

Traveling, speaking and collaborating for future education equity: A report from the road

Creating an equitable future requires attention to the signals around us every day. In a world brimming with global competition, rapid technological advancements and growing disparities in academic achievement across the nation, the signals appear in the news every day.

October presented me with multiple opportunities to travel, share and learn about different approaches in teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, transformation efforts and the future of working and learning. With each new destination, it was clear that change in our education systems is necessary and through committed organizations, collective efforts and strategic partnerships it will happen.

TGR Foundation envisions a world where opportunity is universal and potential is limitless. I encouraged Close It 2018 attendees to pursue cross-sector collaborations to provide young people with every opportunity to succeed. We cannot continue to simply talk and plan. We must act.

After leading a workshop and speaking with educators from around the country at the annual iNACOL Symposium, I left Nashville feeling encouraged about its future and our own. Unlike their acronym suggests iNACOL’s efforts extend beyond online learning.

Supporters attend to learn about competency-based and personalized learning strategies that will lead to greater student achievement and growth. During my workshop, I challenged participants to reflect on their individual practice and seek uncommon partnerships in the spirit of improving opportunities for young people. I also spent time with Susan Patrick, CEO of iNACOL, speaking about the work of TGR Foundation and our shared interest in connecting student learning to preparation for careers and the workforce. We found a lot of common ground.

Developing cross-sector partnerships is not always easy. We are all comfortable doing our own work and oftentimes can’t see a way to fit in “something else.” However, when a theme is identified, such as STEM, doesn’t it make sense to align efforts to eliminate redundancy and efficiently use resources?

This was an area of attention last week during a joint meeting at the National Science Foundation. During the meeting, funders, agencies and program providers convened to learn about one another and take steps towards action while leveraging the best of what everyone brings to the table.

It was a busy month and one that inspires me to use the innovation lens once again to determine how TGR Foundation can be more intentional about sharing what we know and serving as the catalyst for change locally, nationally and globally.

Redefining what it means to be a champion.